Friday, September 4, 2015

Agricultural Education is for Everyone

The list of stereotypes for individuals involved with Ag Ed and organizations like FFA is a long one. Sadly, those same stereotypes are often what keep students from taking an agriculture class in the first place. It was those stereotypes that were in my head when I sat down for my first day of introduction to agriculture class in eighth grade.

Since that first experience in middle school, agricultural education has changed my life. What I learned from that first experience in ag education and my following 4 years of taking ag classes had not been what I was expecting. I studied biology, engineering, business, and much more all in the same classroom. I got the chance to apply concepts I was learning in all of my other classes to real life situations. I learned about myself, my strengths, weaknesses, and where I want my future career to take me.

By remaining involved in agricultural education and joining FFA, my efforts led to 4 appearances in the National Agriscience Fair. Ag ed and FFA allowed me to travel and learn about agriculture outside of my community. Because of my experiences, I have been able to network and create relationships that I know will last a lifetime.

Most importantly, I learned how the United States goes about producing food to feed a rapidly expanding global population. At the end of the day, agriculture is food. It’s what we eat. By being involved in agricultural education throughout my high school career, I have a much greater understanding of where my food comes from than I ever did before.

It doesn’t matter if you live in a city, the suburbs, a small town, or the middle of nowhere. At some point, you are going to need to eat. Now, more than ever, a spotlight has been shined on our food and how it is produced. Across the United States individuals are taking an active interest in the steps it takes to get food from the farm to the table. When it comes to finding that information, I could offer you a list of twitter accounts, blogs, and magazines all dedicated to showcasing food production. However, my best piece of advice? Take an Ag class.

There is no better way to learn about food production, and so much more, than agricultural education. No other subject can combine learning about science, technology, engineering, and math like agriculture does.

At the end of the day, agriculture plays an extremely important role in the life of everyone on the planet. That’s why it’s important to be properly educated about agriculture. It’s not just for people who have been raised on the farm, or those who want to one day be directly involved in the agriculture industry. Agricultural education is for everyone.

All the best,

Sean Harrington
2015-2016 State Treasurer

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